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“The role of the victim in the criminal justice system – Circle sentencing in Inuit communities”

Crnkovich, Mary
June 4, 2015

Source: (1995) Paper presented at the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice conference. Banff, Alberta, Canada, 11-14 October.

Mary Crnkovich addresses issues relating to victims and circle sentencing in Canada based on her experiences working on a justice project with the national Inuit women’s association, Pauktuutit. In particular, she expresses deep concerns about the use of circle sentencing in cases involving violence against women, young girls and boys, and children. In this regard, after sketching the existing justice system in Inuit communities and the basic concepts of circle sentencing, she questions several assumptions made by advocates of circle sentencing: (1) circle sentencing is rooted in Inuit culture and tradition; (2) it is truly a community-based process; (3) there is a single, relatively homogenous entity which is “theâ€? Inuit community; and (4) circle sentencing is truly an alternative to the existing justice system, and a beneficial one, for victims.


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